Saturday, January 30, 2010

Experience Is Overrated

One of my more popular posts is about the self perpetuating circle of being "The Little Guy" in a world of big fish. It hasn't drawn any public comments, but I get tweets and emails about it all the time.

Yesterday was Day 19 of Sarah Robinson's "30 Days To Changing Your Game" blog series. The day's entry, written by Marie Forleo, was about what not to do. I'll wait for you to read it, its worth it. Done? Ok. Good.

Did you see the part where she talked about taking a job she had no experience in just because she knew she could do it? THAT is amazing. Its also why experience is overrated. Someone thought enough of her to offer her a job that she'd never done before.

You hear about that kind of thing every so often, but you almost never hear about the inverse. Someone with no experience in a particular field can rarely go up to a professional ANYTHING and say "Hey, I bet I can do that. Gimme a shot." and get away with it. There is a misguided assumption that you need experience along with education to do anything these days. That's bullshit. Just because you have experience, doesn't mean you're any good. You could have experience in doing it WRONG. The guy without the experience is coming in with no preconceived notions on how he's going to do things based on what he's done before. He'll take chances, he'll learn, and he'll get it done.

If you need experience to get a job, how can you get it if you can't get a job? You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. Lovely fucking circle, isn't it? Do what you have to do to break that circle - if you know you can do something, do it. Tell people who try to tell you that you need experience to do something that they're wrong.

If you think you can do it, you can. Go do it.


  1. Awesome post and many thanks for the props. Best stuff I've ever done in my business (and the most lucrative - in terms of $$ and satisfaction) I've zero "official" experience in. Passion? Yes. Balls? Absolutely. Real world track record in exactly that thing? Not even close. Keep rockin' man. xo Marie

  2. I'm just sick of being looked over for lesser talent in the name
    of experience. I agree with you, of course; passion and balls are better than experience anyday, and are more valuable in the long run. It's just a shame that HR departments are run by fear, not by something realistic.